Christmas books come out earlier and earlier every year. I actually read Melody Carlson's The Christmas Angel Project in August when it was released. I just couldn't review a Christmas book in August. But, Carlson's Christmas books are one of my weaknesses. They're always feel-good stories. They're almost fairy tales that start out bad but end with a Happily-Ever-After.
Abby Wentworth's small book group had been meeting for fifteen years. She started it, and the four other members helped her through a rough period when she won her battle against ovarian cancer. But, the kindergarten teacher was still only in her forties when she died the day after Thanksgiving. It comes as a shock to all of her friends. Louisa, Abby's oldest friend, was still mourning the death of her husband. Belinda saw Abby as her best friend, and she's just angry at God. For Grace, her marriage, kids and career all seem off-track, and now she's lost Abby. And, Cassidy, the youngest of the group, is a veterinarian who suffers from a poor self-image. Abby was too young to be her mother, but she was her mother-figure and her support. All four women agree it's time to give up the group because they can't go on without Abby.
But, Abby left them all gifts, personalized gifts. It was if she knew she wouldn't be there, and they would all need one more boost. Together, and separately, the four women would take Abby's gift as a sign to keep going, maybe with a change here or there. The changes were inspired by Abby's words of wisdom, quotes from the Bible. And, each of Abby's friends would take it to heart. There would be more than one Christmas miracle.
Carlson's Christmas stories are always slight books with little space for great character development. Even so, she gives enough about the four women that the reader truly cares as to whether or not they're able to succeed. Without spoiling the story, I can just say each woman finds blessings in the Christmas season. Carlson's The Christmas Angel Project is another sweet story with a message, just what her readers have come to expect for the season.
Melody Carlson's website is www.melodycarlson.com
The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson. Revell. 2016. ISBN 9780800722692 (hardcover), 166p.
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